Manually processing invoices wastes valuable time and can result in late payments, lost invoices etc., in addition to utilizing resources on repetitive boring tasks. Also, it is tough to get visibility and prioritization in a manual system. SAP AP Automation helps you streamline and gain complete visibility of your operations and delivers several quantitative benefits to your business.
We’re living in the age of automation where businesses are trying hard to identify opportunities to automate and drive their production. Accounts Payable, a major obligation for businesses in terms of resources, can be automated with SAP Accounts Payable automation. By automating their Accounts Payable process, businesses can save a lot of money and gain visibility on their operations. Moreover, personnel employed for Accounts Payable can now focus on more critical tasks that require problem solving and higher skill sets rather than spending time on paperwork, data entry and other repetitive tasks.
Accounts Payable Automation with SAP leads to removal of paper invoices, errors in data entry and other drawbacks of the manual process and brings several positive results like improved faster invoice processing, on-time payments and improved working capital management, for an organization.
Estimates suggest that it takes minimum 15 steps in manual invoicing before the final posting and the invoice can be paid. Also, several companies process over 1000 invoices per day, and it takes a minimum of 15 minutes to manually processes an invoice. SAP AP automation can help save companies valuable time and resources.
AP automation refers to technology leveraged to streamline and automate accounts payable processes. AP Automation in SAP allows everyone in the company to get access to relevant payment and supplier data in real-time. With AP automation, your company can save as much as $16 per invoice and 19% on invoice processing
Organizations can benefit hugely with AP automation. However, the extent of positive results relies heavily on implementing best practices in SAP AP automation. Here are a few SAP Accounts Payable Automation best practices for you to increase RoI from your investments and efforts-
- Centralize Your Invoice Receipt & Capture Process: Centralizing your invoice receipt and capture process is critical to your AP automation. Your Capture software should be able to read electronic invoices in different formats like webpages, emails, scanned copies etc. It is best to gather all invoices in one particular format for consistency in the AP process.
- Simplify Your Invoice Processing: Simplification in the process and a streamlined approval hierarchy is key to successful SAP AP automation. In a manual process, invoices are collected and circulated for approval. With automation, a workflow will notify the approvers, then automatically transfer the information for the payment proposal. A simplified invoice approval process will help you reduce time to approve and gain more visibility on the operations.
- Communicate the benefits of AP automation: One of the important tasks often missed while implementing SAP Accounts Payable Automation is involving all stakeholders in the existing manual process. The shift from manual to automated processes means restructuring in the workforce, personnel adopting to new methods etc. Advocating the benefits of the AP automation to the team will not only help you rapidly implement the process but will also drive adoption.
- Automate Payments: AP automation makes it is easier for your business to use automated payments clearing. This will help you save time on wire transfers and writing checks. With digital payments becoming a new norm, acceptance from vendors and suppliers won’t be a key concern. This will also free your employees from doing repetitive tasks and focus on tasks that require critical thinking and application of skills.
- Leverage Data: One of the key benefits of automating your AP process is that you collect a lot of data across the process. This data can then be utilized to gain insights on your spending and capital flow. Your business needs to build data capabilities to harness the data and leverage the extracted insights for process transformation.
SAP AP automation is just the first step in maximizing value from your investments. You can further use it in automating other components like procurement and purchase requisition, order processing and delivery note processing etc., of your financial processes.
At Gemini Consulting, we have built a robust practice and capabilities around SAP products. Over the years, we have helped businesses of all sizes in automating processes to address their specific needs. Our team can help you automate your AP process using SAP and deliver maximum value for your business. To know more about how Gemini can help you automate your account payable process click here.